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Donegal keep promotion hopes alive with battling win over Cork

Ryan McHugh
Ryan McHugh

A 12-point second-half turnaround from Donegal at Páirc Uí Rinn kept alive their Division 2 promotion hopes and left Cork on the brink of relegation to the third flight.

Trailing by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time, the visitors were far sharper on the resumption, aided by the wind, with Michael Murphy excellent as they clawed their way back, taking the lead at 0-15 to 1-11 through Hugh McFadden on 59 minutes.

Though Luke Connolly levelled for Cork, it was their last score and two Niall O'Donnell points gave Donegal a cushion while the hosts, with all of their subs used, lost Ian Maguire and Connolly to injury and Mark Collins to a second yellow card.

After a Daire Ó Baoill point put Donegal three ahead, they made the game safe with a Jamie Brennan goal and Ryan McHugh ensured there were seven points between the teams at the end.

Donegal had the better of the play in the early stages of the first half but Cork stayed with them and moved 0-6 to 0-3 ahead with points from Ruairí Deane, Connolly and Eoghan McSweeney. While that was cancelled out as Donegal drew level, Cork finished the half well, Matthew Taylor with a goal following Shaun Patton's save from Ruairí Deane.

Unfortunately for Cork, they couldn't maintain that momentum and victory for Clare over Meath today would relegate them.

Scorers

Donegal: M Murphy 0-6 (4f, 1 45), J Brennan 1-2, N O'Donnell 0-3, R McHugh, D Ó Baoill 0-2 each, H McFadden, C Thompson, O Gallen, C Ward 0-1 each.

Cork: L Connolly 0-4 (3f), E McSweeney 0-3, M Taylor 1-0, M Collins, M Hurley 0-2 each, R Deane 0-1.

Teams

DONEGAL: S Patton; E Doherty, S McMenamin, C Ward; P Brennan, L McLoone, E Bán Gallagher; H McFaden, C McGonagle; N O'Donnell, C Thompson, R McHugh; J Brennan, M Murphy, O Gallen.

Subs: D Ó Baoill for Brennan (23), P McGrath for Ward (half-time), E McHugh for Gallen, N McGee for Doherty (both 70)

CORK: M Martin; S Ryan, T Clancy, C Dennehy; K Crowley, K Flahive, M Taylor; I Maguire, K O'Hanlon; P Kerrigan, E McSweeney, R Deane; M Collins, M Hurley, L Connolly.

Subs: M White for Martin (42, injured), R O'Toole for Kerrigan (57), K O'Driscoll for Taylor (57), S Powter for Deane (61-64, blood), C Kiely for Dennehy (63), Powter for Crowley (67).

Referee: D Gough (Meath)

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